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Can Charlotte 2.0 bring Web culture to the city? (access required)

By Austin Light CHARLOTTE — With Wachovia swallowed up by Wells Fargo and Bank of America facing a new future under incoming CEO Brian Moynihan, Josh Lippiner believes this is the perfect time for the city to redefine itself. His solution for new jobs and a new city culture? Web startups. Lippiner himself is a veteran of on-line startups and the owner of noctivity.com, a Web incubator. His newest initiative, Charlotte 2.0, is envisioned as a micro-incubator that could fund Web startups and provide incentives for owners to come to Charlotte. His goal is to raise $2 million — enough to incubate startups for three years, he says — through grants, local investors and stimulus money earmarked for job creation. Lippiner managed on-line startups in New York and Los Angeles before moving to Charlotte a few years ago. Not long after moving here, he said, two things became clear: It’s hard to attract Web talent to Charlotte, and the city lacks a cohesive Web community. According to him, the closest Web talent will get to the city is Raleigh and Atlanta.

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